Udvartana – Ubtan: Benefits, Types, How To Do

Udvartana has been practised to perfection by Ayurvedic doctors for ages. It is an important therapy and mandatory inclusion in Ayurvedic obesity and slimming clinics and weight reduction programs. Udvartana is not limited just to treat obesity or address overweight issues; it is a remedy for wide array of problems. Udvartana has been included as a part of Dinacharya (daily healthy regimen) and can be done daily.


What is Udwarthanam?

The term Udwarthanam can be split as Urdhwa and Varthanam
Urdhwa means Upward
Varthanam means to move
Udwartanam thus means ‘to move something in an upward movement’
Udwarthana also means elevation
Udwarthanam is a special type of massage in which –
Herbal powders are used for massaging

Massage is done in an upward direction i.e. from below upwards (opposite to the traditional or conventional massage as done in Abhyanga in which strokes are given from above downwards). Massage is done in a direction opposite to that of the body hairs (which point downwards) i.e. Pratiloma gati. This means to tell that when Udwarthana is done, we are massaging in such a way that we are elevating the hairs from a ‘downward pointing direction’ and push them so as to change their direction and point upwards (the hairs come back to their normal position after the procedure is completed).


उद्वर्तनं कफहरं मेदसः प्रविलापनम्।
स्थिरीकरणम् अङ्गानां त्वक् प्रसादकरं परं॥{अ.हृ.सू.२/१५}
Ref – Ashtanga Hridaya Sutra Sthana Ch.2, verse 15

दौर्गन्ध्यं गौरवं तंद्रा कण्डू मलम् अरोचकम्।
स्वेद बीभत्सतां हंति शरीरपरिमार्जनम्॥{च.सू.५/९३}
Ref – Charaka Sutra Sthana Ch.5, verse 93

उद्वर्तनं वातहरं कफ मेदो विलापनम्।
स्थिरीकरणम् अङ्गानां त्वक् प्रसादकरं परं॥{सु.चि.२४/५१}
Ref – Sushruta Chikitsa Sthana Ch.24, verse 51
The benefits of Udwarthanam are as below mentioned:

  • Kaphaharam – Destroys morbid Kapha
  • Vataharam – Destroys morbid Vata
  • Medasaha Pravilaapanam – Liquefies and mobilises the stagnant morbid meda (fat / adipose tissue)
  • Sthireekaranam angaanam – Provides stability to body parts
  • Twak prasadakaram param – Rejuvenates the skin and brings freshness in it
  • Dourgandhya haram – Alleviates foul smell
  • Gourava haram – Alleviates heaviness of the body
  • Tandra haram – Removes drowsiness, brings freshness
  • Kandu haram – Alleviates itching
  • Mala haram – Removes dirt and dust
  • Arochaka haram – Relieves from tastelessness
  • Sweda haram – Removes sweat
  • Beebhatsa haram – Removes awkward look, gives glamour
  • Sira mukha viviktatvam – Opens up the blocked channels, blood vessels and transport systems of the body and enables free circulation of nutrients and essentials in the body
  • Twakstha Agni samyakaram – Stabilizes and normalizes the Agni (Bhrajaka Agni or Bhrajaka Pitta in the skin which is responsible for skin immunity, to provide good colour and complexion)
  • Kanti karam – Provides good shine and complexion
  • Sharira Parimarjanam – Cleanses the body
neck and back massage


Udwarthana can be effectively used in the below said conditions –

  • Obesity and related complications
  • Over weight
  • High cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Diabetes
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Exfoliation
  • Psoriasis
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Lethargy and laziness
  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Excessive sleep
  • Lack of freshness
  • Sleeplessness
  • In the Purvakarma (pre-treatment procedures) of Virechana (therapeutic purgation) and Vamana (therapeutic emesis) in place of Abhyanga
  • Santarpanottha Vikaras – Diseases manifesting due to over nutrition
  • Restoring skin health and glow
  • Beautification
  • Nervous disorders, Motor neuron diseases, Parkinsonism
  • Neuro-muscular disorders,
  • Muscular weakness, muscular dystrophy
  • To tone up the skin and muscles
  • PCOS
  • To tone up the abdomen after delivery and to remove the marks
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Amavata (Rheumatoid arthritis) with kapha and ama predominant symptoms like heaviness, stiffness of joints, swelling of joints, reduced mobility etc
  • Sciatica
  • Skin diseases
  • Menstrual disorders in women (irregular periods)
  • Cushing’s syndrome etc

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  • High Pitta condition or pitta related disorders having high inflammation, redness, rise in local temperature, burning sensation etc
  • Diseases with severe pain – degenerative arthritis (osteo-arthritis), colic etc
  • Presence of wounds and cuts
  • Presence of burns
  • Too dry skin (typical vata constitution)
  • Old age
  • Kids and infants
  • Pregnant women
  • Oozing skin conditions like eczema etc
  • Tissue depletion and emaciation etc

Sharira Parimarjanam

अभ्यङ्गपूर्वकत्वाद् उद्वर्तनस्य तमनुपरिमार्जनमुद्वर्त्तनं ब्रूते।{चक्रपाणि च.सू.५/९३,९४, Ref – Chakrapani commentary on Charaka Sutra Sthana Ch.5, verses 93,94}
Acharya Charaka has mentioned a term called Sharira Parimarjana. Commentator Chakrapani commenting on the term tells that Sharira Parimarjana is nothing different from Udwarthana. In fact Sharira parimarjana explained by Charaka is Udwarthana. Chakrapani states that Udwarthana has to be done after Abhyanga (massage) and since Charaka explains Sharira Parimarjana after Abhyanga, it should be an explanation of Udwarthana.
Thus Sharira Parimarjana can be regarded as a synonym of Udwarthana.

face and forehead massage


Types of Udwarthana –
Snigdha (oily) – also called Utsadana
and rooksha (dry)called Udgharshana

Snigdha UdwarthanaUdgharshana

अस्नेह औषध चूर्णादिभिः घर्षणम् उद्घर्षणम्।{डल्हण, सु.चि.२४/५२}
Rubbing the powders of medicinal drugs over the body without the addition or admixture of oil or ghee is called Udgharshanam

Snigdha means with Sneha (fats like medicated oil, medicated ghee etc). In this type of Udwarthana, the herbal powders are not directly rubbed over the body. In fact, the powders are mixed with medicated oils or ghee and made into paste. This paste is rubbed over the body in reverse direction (from below upwards) after doing Abhyanga (massage).
Alternatively, the powders are fried in medicated oil or ghee and rubbed over the body.
Moreover powder of drugs which naturally has unctuous (oily) property like sesame etc is used in this type of treatment.

Indications  for Snigdha Udvaratna –

  • Where there is severe morbidity of Vayu
  • When the patient is weak, when we intend udwarthana to provide strength
  • When there is instability or laxity of body parts and when we are intending to provide stability (sthairyakaram)
  • Where the condition is more painful
  • Where the skin is depleted of nutrition, lacking lustre and devoid of complexion or glow, to improve skin immunity and health
  • Where the patient has dry skin
  • When the patient is of Vata Prakriti (constitution) or having Vata Vikriti (diseases caused by morbid Vata)
  • When udwarthana is being done in Varsha rutu (monsoon or rainy season – known to naturally disturb Vata)
  • When Udwarthana is done in Jangala Desha (Dry land or desert land) or people belonging to Jangala Desha

Ruksha Udvarthana – Utsadana

सस्नेह कल्केन उद्धर्षणम् उत्सादनम्।{डल्हण, सु.चि.२४/५२}
In utsadana, the powders of medicinal drugs are mixed with sneha (oils or ghee) so as to make a paste. This paste is rubbed over the body in a reverse (upward direction over the body).

Ruksha means Dry. The name itself indicates that no oil is used in this procedure. This is opposite of Snigdha Udwarthana. This means to tell that herbal powders are directly rubbed or stroked (without mixing or frying them with oil or ghee) over the body in upward direction after conducting Abhyanga.

Moreover powder of drugs which naturally has dry (ruksha) property like sesame etc is used in this type of treatment.

Rooksha Udwarthana may lead to small complications like small skin abrasions or skin damage especially when done in people with sensitive skin or dry skin. But there will be no other option than using it with caution wherever it is advised, prescribed or recommended.

Ruksha Udwarthana is recommended in conditions –

  • Where there is severe morbidity of Kapha
  • When the patient is strong enough to tolerate dry and depleting form of treatment
  • When dryness is intended to be induced in the body
  • When there is excess fat / cholesterol in the body (ruksha udwarthana being the best treatment in relieving body fat and subcutaneous fat)
  • Where there is heaviness of the body
  • Where there is stiffness, cold and rigidity in the body
  • When there is excessive collection of fluidity (kleda) in the body
  • When the skin is too oily
  • In conditions where there is excessive sweating (excessive sweating is related to excess fat in the body)
  • When the patient is of Kapha Prakriti (constitution) or having Kapha Vikriti (diseases caused by morbid Kapha)
  • When udwarthana is being done in Shishira and Vasanta rutu (cold and spring season – known to naturally disturb Kapha)
  • When Udwarthana is done in Anupa Desha (Marshy land) or people belonging to Anupa Desha
  • When body has bad odour
  • When there is severe lethargy, laziness and drowsiness, lack of freshness
  • When there is severe itching
  • Where there is lot of dirt / slough on the skin
  • When skin is lax and skin tightness and compactness is needed
  • When there are severe blocks and obstructions in the body hampering free circulation of nutrients and essentials to the cells

उद्वर्तनं चात्र प्रविलापनीय विम्लापन करम्।
उद्घर्षणम् स्नेह औशध चूर्णादिभिः घर्षणम्॥
स्नेहस्य कल्केन उद्घर्षणं उत्सादनम्।{डल्हण सु.चि.२४/५६}
Ref – Dalhana commentary on Sushruta Chikitsa Sthana Ch.24, verses 56

सिरामुख विविक्तत्वं त्वक्स्थ अस्य अग्नेः च तेजसं।
उद्घर्षण उत्सादनाभ्यां जाययेताम् असंशयम्॥
उत्सादनात् भवेत् स्त्रीणां विशेषात् कांतिमत् वपुः॥{सु.चि.२४/५२,५३}
Ref – Sushruta Chikitsa Sthana Ch.24, verses 52, 53

Types according to Sushruta

Types according to Sushruta: According to Sushruta, Udwarthana again is of 3 types –


उद्वर्तनं च अत्र प्रविलापनीय विम्लापनकरम्।{डल्हण, सु.चि.२४/५१}
Udwarthana is that which brings about Pravilapanam (dissolution or liquification) and Vimplapanam (mutilation – destroying anything). Thus in this, herbal powders are rubbed on the body in an upward (reverse) direction so as to cause dissolution or mutilation of the unwanted and undesired elements of the body, mainly fat and excess kapha which are causing blocks and also helps to mobilize them out of the body to establish normalcy and health. This can be achieved when dry things are rubbed over the body (drugs or powders which are naturally dry or can cause dryness on rubbing).

To mobilize or mutilate fat or any blocking elements, rubbing should be done with sufficient pressure so that the effect reaches into the deep tissues.
Master Sushruta explains about Utsadana – oil + powder massage and Udgarshana – dry powder massage.


Since it is said that no sneha shall be mixed with the powder in Udgharshana, it shall be considered as a dry therapy. Powders of brick, soap nut etc are also used in Udgharshanam. This produces maximum dryness in the body.

Utsaadana is administered in an unctuous form as the powder is made into a paste by addition of lipids. It is also mentioned that Utsaadana provides glow, beauty and complexion, especially when it is administered in women. Thus Utsadana looks like a retrograde massage which is administered for skin beautification.

It is also said that Udgharshana and Utsadana brings about dilatation of channels and orifices of the body, removing the blocks and thus enabling free transportation of nutrients and essentials. This motive is possible achieved by both these methods. I think that it is better achieved when these two are done in combination. Udgharshana serves the purpose of exfoliation and removes dead cells and debris, dirt and dust from the cells of the skin and tissues below the skin. It also mobilizes the fat collection. Later when Utsadana is done,, it improves the glow and complexion of the skin and restores immunity and health of the skin.

Coming to Udvartana – nothing has been mentioned about the addition or exclusion of Sneha (oil/ghee). But seeing the utility of Udwarthana (Pravilapana and Vimplapana) we can infer that it is also a predominantly dry procedure. But immediately after Udwarthana, Udgharshana has been explained excluding the oil from the procedure. This gives us an idea that Udwarthana could be partly dry (Ruksha) and partly unctuous (Snigdha).

Thus we can conclude that –
Udgharshana is totally a dry procedure (Ruksha udwarthana)
Udwarthanam is partly dry and partly unctuous (Snigdha-Ruksha Udwarthana)
Utsadana is predominantly unctuous procedure (Snigdha udwarthana)


How is Udwarthana done?


Purvakarma (Pre-treatment procedures): This includes –
Preparation of the patient:
The patient is thoroughly examined. The Prakriti (basic constitution) and Vikriti (details of morbidity) are documented in detail. The disease is also examined. The treatment line-up, materials and medicines which need to be used are enlisted. It is confirmed if the patient is fit to undergo Udwarthana treatment or not.

Preparation for the treatment:
Materials needed for the treatment are collected beforehand. They are:
For Abhyanga (massage with herbal oil) – Taila (medicated oil), suitable to the disease and diseased are collected and stored beforehand.

Oils used for Abhyanga:

  • Ksheerabala tailam
  • Mahamasha tailam
  • Mahanarayana tailam
  • Kottamchukkadi tailam
  • Balashwagandhadi Tailam
  • Ashwagandhabalalakshadi Tailam
  • Sahacharadi tailam
  • Murivenna
  • Pinda tailam
  • Tila taila (sesame oil)
  • Castor oil

Powders for Udwarthana:

Some more formulations for Udwarthana –

  • Mocharasa churna – Powder of resin or extract of Bombax malabaricum (Shalmali – Silk cotton tree)
  • Samudraphena – Powder of cuttlefish bone
  • Powder of Mocharasa and Samudraphena
  • Vasapatra swarasa (juice of Adathoda vasica leaves) and Shanka bhasma mixed together (Calx or ash of conch shell)
  • Haritaki Valkala – Powder of bark of Terminalia chebula tree
  • Karpuradi churna – Mixture of powders of Karpura (camphor), Chandana (sandal wood), Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa), Shirisha (Albizzia lebbeck), Ushira (Vetiveria zizanioidis) and Nagakeshara (Mesua ferrea)
  • Udwarthana with paste of Babula patra (leaves of Acacia Arabica) followed by Udwarthana with paste of Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)
  • Paste of leaves of Jambu (Syzygium cumini), flowers of Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna) and Kushta (Saussurea lappa)

Apparatus and materials for Swedana (steaming / fomentation):

  • Swedana Yantra – Swedana (steaming / fomentation) should be done after Udwarthana as a part of post-treatment procedure. For this the Swedana / Bashpa swedana yantra (steaming chamber or apparatus) should be checked for its functioning and kept ready.

Herbal decoctions like Dashamula Kashayam should be prepared and kept ready for Swedana

  • Bowls
  • Stove
  • Pans
  • Spoons
  • Towel
  • Sterile cotton and cotton pads
  • Enema cans, enema syringe

Sadhyo Virechana –
Sadhyo Virechana means instant purgation. This shall be given for a single day. If Kashaya Vasti (decoction enema) especially Lekhana Vasti (fat depleting enemas) are planned in the post-treatment procedure, instant purgation should be given one day before commencement of Udwarthana with Gandharvahastadi Tailam or Nimbamritadi Eranda tailam (or any purgatives depending on the diagnosis made by the doctor).

Abhyanga –
The medicated oil chosen for Abhyanga is made warm. Massage is given to the whole body for 15-20 minutes and the patient is prepared for Udwarthana

Pradhana karma

Pradhana Karma (Treatment proper):
Udwarthana –
It is important that the massage be simultaneously and synchronously done on both side of the body to maintain uniformity. By doing so, the whole body will be attended at a time. 2 well trained masseurs are needed to carry out this procedure in an effective way. Both will be needed to conduct the treatment especially when the Udwarthana is done with the patient lying in supine (face upward) and prone (face downward) positions. In the other 5 positions (will be explained in coming passages), only one masseur can manage doing the procedure. Anyhow a reserve 2nd masseur should be available for any help. The main masseur can carry on the major part of the therapy while the assistant can help when synchronous massage is needed. In most of the hospitals and clinics, Udwarthana is carried on by a single masseur.

A single masseur can also do it but it takes a lot of effort and strain for a single person to carry out the procedure. It may be an option when a second masseur is not available or can’t work with synchrony. Also, udvartana is a procedure which demands lot of physical energy from the masseur’s. A single masseur getting tired by the time he finishes massaging on one side of the body will attend the other side with a formality and the desired results may not be obtained.

The herbal powder is taken in a bowl,
It is rubbed over the body in a reverse direction (upward) or opposite to the direction of the body hairs, from below upwards in a synchronous way.
In the upper limbs – the powder is rubbed from the hands upwards towards the shoulders covering synchronous massage over the forearms and arms
In the lower limbs, the powder is stroked from foot upwards towards the hip covering synchronous massage over the legs and thighs and butts
Over the abdomen, the powder is massaged synchronously in clockwise direction altered with anti-clockwise direction. Rubbing from below (pubic area) upwards (to the lower border of rib cage), left to right and right to left strokes are intervened for better results
Over the chest, the powder is massaged from below upwards intervened with side to side strokes i.e. left to right and right to left direction for better results
Covering the back, the powder is rubbed upward starting from the sacroiliac area to the upper back passing through mid-back. Side to side strokes can be given with gentle pressure in the spaces between the vertebrae (bones of your back).
Over the neck, light strokes are given between collar bone to chin and shoulder blade to the lower border of occiput. Care should be given not to put pressure because important blood vessels supplying and draining the brain and head are making their journey through neck. Neck massage can be avoided if it is not mandatory or if the masseur has not mastered it.

Udwarthana is done in the same chronology of doing Abhyanga. It is done covering all the 7 postures.
Position 1 – Patient sitting on the massage table with lower limbs extended
Position 2 – Patient lying on his back (supine)
Position 3 – Patient lying on one side, turning towards left (left lateral)
Position 4 – Patient lying on his belly, face downwards (prone)
Position 5 – Patient lying on other side, turning towards right (right lateral)
Position 6 – Repeat position 2, patient lying on his back, facing upwards (supine)
Position 7 – Repeat position 1, patient sitting with legs extended

Udgharshana –
This is done on similar lines of Udwarthana covering all the 7 postures but the materials used for rubbing are different. In this more coarse materials like brick powder, powder of Rita (soap nut) etc are used.

Utsadana –
Utsadan is a gentler form of Udwarthana. It is also done on the same lines of treatment covering all the 7 postures but rubbing or stroking is made using pastes of herbal powders made by mixing them with medicated oils / ghee. Since it is for beautification, more caution should be taken by the masseurs while conducting Utsadana. Facial massage (from below upwards as in udwarthana) is also done with the pastes prepared with special drugs which bring a glow to the face and improve complexion following the logic of Udwarthana. Abhyanga is done before conducting udwarthana for face. Utsadana is also extended for body beautification also wherein it is conducted on the whole body just as in Udwarthana.

Paschat karma

Paschat Karma (Post-treatment procedures):
Cleansing the body and smearing oil –
The body of the patient is cleansed with sterile cloth or tissues or sterile cotton to remove the powder and paste from their contact with the skin.
After wiping off the medicaments, the patient is smeared with a thin coat of medicated oil (same as used in Abhyanga) and prepared for steaming

Swedana – Steaming / Fomentation –
After the completion of Udwarthana (Udgharshana or Utsadana), full body steaming is given using decoctions of Dashamula etc.

The patient is made to sit in the steam chamber and the whole body is subjected to fomentation. Time of sudation will vary from 10-15 minutes depending on the Prakriti (constitution) and Vikriti (morbidity) of the patient. Season should also be taken into consideration. Sweating shall be done for a small duration in those with Pitta constitution and in summer where there will be natural sweating. The head will be out of the chamber.

When the patient is undergoing Udwarthana at home by himself (with the help of his family members) under the supervision and direction of his doctor, Bashpa Sweda (sweating in a steam chamber) shall be replaced by an extended duration of hot water bath or shower. To enhance the effect, the bathroom shall be steamed beforehand by leaving hot water after having the doors and windows of the bathroom closed. This will facilitate effective steaming and sweating. The patient is also asked to sleep by covering himself with thick blankets for 15-20 minutes (Guru pravarana type of niragni sweda) in a room devoid of ventilation, after Udwarthana. By doing so, the sweating process has already started. Hot water shower will add to the effect.

In case of Udwarthana or Utsadana covering the face (beautification or glow enhancing), facial steaming shall be given using a sauna or vessel filled with hot water. In either case, the patient is asked to cover his head with a blanket so as not to allow the steam to escape.

If udwarthana or utsadana covering face is a part of the procedure covering the whole body, swedana shall be given separately for body and face. Firstly swedana is given to the whole body by placing the patient in the steam chamber. After the steaming is done with, the patient should be given a facial sauna after a gap of 5 minutes.

Snana – Bath
The person is allowed to rest for about 1 hour and later advised to take a hot water bath. He should be using green gram powder to rub his body. Siddhartha Snana churna (bathing powder) or any herbal powder can also be used alternatively. If the patient is being treated as outpatient, the patient is advised to take a bath at home after an hour or couple of hours.

Nitya Virechana (herbal laxatives on a daily basis) –
Daily metered dose of purgation with purgative decoctions or oils like Gandharvahastadi Kashayam, Gandharvahastadi Eranda tailam, Nimbamritadi Eranda Tailam etc can be administered every day after Udwarthana. After Abhyanga or Udwarthana or in fact after most of the external measures of treatment the activated cells release a small amount of toxins back into the system. These toxins need to be thrown out of the system and Nitya Virechana serves this purpose. If Udwarthana is being done targeting weight loss, Nitya Virechana will add to the effect. This can be thought of when Virechana is needed during treatment. Nitya Virechana can also be a part of follow up (after completing the course of Udwarthana).

Kashaya (Lekhana) Vasti – Like Nitya Virechana, Kashaya (Asthapana) Vasti or herbal decoction enema’s are highly effective in detoxifying the cells. They can be included as a part of post-treatment procedure of Udwarthana. If Vasti is intended and planned beforehand, a Sadhyo-virechana (instant purgation) shall be given on the previous day of the commencement of Udwarthana (as a part of pre-treatment procedure).

Lekhana Vasti’s –
Lekhana Vasti’s (enemas which are prepared with drugs having a capacity to scrap out the unwanted tissues and tissue toxins of the body and also to deplete the fat stores) are mainly used in metabolic disorders involving high meda (fat) and high kapha like obesity etc.

Discharge – The patient is discharged on daily basis (out-patient) or after the course has been completed (in-patient) after giving proper lifestyle and dietic advice along with suitable medicines (oral). The patient is also advised to undergo the treatment twice or thrice in a year as a part of maintenance and to avoid recurrence. Chronic diseases if any should be attended by prompt intake of medication. If the patient is attending the treatment as an out-patient, Nitya Virechana (daily purgation) shall be advised which can be done at home (at bedtime). Bathing should also be taken at home. Regular exercises should be added with a planned diet to reduce weight if Udwarthana is being done as a part of weight reduction programme.

Udwarthana at home:
The patient can plan to have Udwarthana at home. He or she can do it themselves or by taking the help of family members. The procedure shall be conducted as explained above. It is always preferable to get Udwarthana done in a hospital or clinic under the supervision of a doctor and with the help of trained masseurs but in inevitable cases where the patient cannot take the treatment in the hospital; he or she shall take it at home under the guidance of Ayurvedic doctor.

Areas of utility

Udwarthana – Areas of utility:
Udwarthana has been proven and time tested treatment for many metabolic diseases. The areas of utility and benefits can be listed as below said –

Relaxation – Udwarthana is a holistic treatment which includes Abhyanga (massage), Udwarthana (powder massages), Virechana (purgation) and Vasti (enema’s prime way to control morbid Vayu). When all these procedures are carried out, they remove blocks in the channels of the body, rectify metabolism, detoxifies the body, soothes the nerves, calm’s the hormone surges and provide ultimate relaxation.

Weight and bulk reduction – Udwarthana effectively mobilizes the stored fat. It mutilates and liquefies the fat so that it is available for disposal from the system. Virechana (purgation) and Vasti (fat depleting enemas) administered as a part and parcel of Udwarthana therapy will further enhance the effect by eliminating the fat and toxins out of the system. Thus Udwarthana helps in trimming the body dimensions, alleviates obesity and restore physical and mental health. It also removes cellulite (thick lumps of subcutaneous fat beneath the skin especially around hips and thigh) and improves the skin tone.

Exfoliation and conditioning of skin – Udwarthana removes dirt, toxins and dead cells from the skin of body and face. Thus Udwarthana is a skin cleanser and conditioner. Udwarthana is used in treatment of skin conditions like Psoriasis for exfoliation.

Good cosmetic – Udwarthana enhances skin quality – Udwarthana (Utsadana) enhances skin quality and health and brings in good complexion and glow to the skin. It also enhances skin tone.

Improves blood circulation to the skin – Udwarthana dilates the openings and passage ways of the body thus improving the blood circulation and nutrition to all parts of the body including skin.

Herbal deodorant – Udwarthana reduces excessive sweating and removes bad odour of the body. Thus Udwarthana acts as a long standing deodorant. The deodorant effect and freshness of the skin stays for a longer duration. If Udwarthana is practised daily as indicated by Ayurveda, we can keep our skin fresh and healthy throughout the day avoiding foul smell and excessive sweating.

Regularizes metabolism – Udwarthana helps in normalizing and regularizing the gut fire and hence metabolism. Udwarthana liquefies and dislodges the blocks in the body channels and cells which will further be eliminated by the administration of purgatives. This micro-cleansing enables the rectification of metabolism.

Improves cellular metabolism, removes ama – With the rectification of Jataragni (gut fire), the dhatvagni (cell fire) also gets activated. The cells start throwing away the toxins and ama (intermediate products of cell metabolism which due to sticky tendency cause blockage in cellular functions) and thus cleanse themselves. Thus cellular health is regained. Moreover the presence of excess fat hampers all sorts of metabolism. Udwarthana being the best treatment to remove fat rectifies metabolic processes all over the body by liquefying and clearing off the accumulated fat.

Kindles the agni in the skin and guards skin immunity – Health of skin is considered to be reflecting the health of circulating nutrients and in turn the health of the gut fire. Healthy skin reflects a good digestion and proper nutrition to the body. Skin health in turn depends on how the nutrients supplied to it are converted and processed by Bhrajaka Pitta and Bhrajaka agni located in it (functional components of skin). Udwarthana kindles Bhrajaka agni, helps in utilization and conversion of nutrition available to the skin and helps establish skin immunity.

De-stressing – The changes induced by the mechanics of the Udwarthana produces a de-stressing effect on the body and mind by soothing the nerves and enhancing the supply of oxygen and nutrition to the whole body.

Increases the tone and strength of muscles – Udwarthana tones up the body muscles and increases their strength. Muscle strength according to Ayurveda is directly proportional to good immunity.

Improves mobility at the joints – Udwarthana removes accumulations from around the joints and relaxes them. It strengthens the joints and soft tissues and improves mobility at the joints.

Rakta prasadana – Improves blood circulation to all parts of the body, proper flow of blood is considered by Ayurveda as a sign of life. Udwarthana also has seen to enhance the quality and quantity of blood. Thus the retrograde hypothesis proves that Udwarthana has a strong motivating effect on bone marrow functions.

Rasayana effect – Since Udwarthana rectifies cellular metabolism and improves nutrition to all cells – the sequential formation of all the tissues gets re-established. Normalcy of all the tissues in terms of quality and quantity establishes good health. This can be said as the Rasayana (rejuvenating, anti-ageing, anti-oxidant and immune-modulating) effect of Udwarthana

Vajikarana effect – Udwarthana increases libido and sexual performance. Many blocks in the body, (especially when caused by fat) leads to loss of libido and deficit sexual performance. Udwarthana removes these blocks and enhances libido leading to satisfied sexual performance and vigour. Thus Udwarthana acts as an aphrodisiac (Vajikarana effect)

Women health – Udwarthana rectifies many metabolic and hormonal diseases. It is included along with other treatments like Vamana and Virechana in the treatment of PCOS, menstrual disorders, hypothyroidism etc. It regularizes hormonal functions and menstrual cycles and provides good health in women.

Improves alertness of mind and provides freshness – Udwarthana provides alertness of the mind. The mind starts working with a fresh feel. Thought processing, decision making, control over emotions and memories are balanced. Natural happiness is induced within the mind.

Improves sleep quality – Udwarthana soothes nerves and calm’s hormones and also enhances the free flow of oxygen, nutrition and de-stressing happy hormones in the body. The body and mind will get a soothing relaxation. This in turn induces good sleep.

Cures Heart Diseases – By clearing the body of its excessive fat and bad cholesterol, toxins etc which are risk factors for the smooth functioning of the heart, Udwarthana restores hearth health.

Removes heaviness, cold and stiffness – When kapha or ama are in excess, we suffer from stiffness of the body, heaviness and excessive cold. Udwarthana alleviates blocks caused due to ama and kapha and thus wards off these symptoms giving freshness and a feel of good health to the body.

Best form of Detoxification – Udwarthana is the best in business of detoxifying the body. This task is achieved by removing the blocks caused by ama, amavisha and kapha which enables the cells and gives them the strength to throw away the toxins created in the cells.

Improves a flow of feeling in the sense organs – Udwarthana helps in enhancing the health of sense organs and the way they feel the sensations. Since Udwarthana is mainly carried over the skin, the skin as a sense organ will be the maximum beneficiary. Skin carries most of our sensations and emotions. Sense of touch and flow of emotions and sense is enhanced in the skin leading to a feeling of well being as never before.


Duration of the course –
The number of days of treatment varies from 7-14 days depending on the nature and intensity of the disease

Treatment is done for a period of 45-60 minutes per session (Treatment duration will extend beyond this if it is combined with other treatments mentioned above) including Abhyanga and Swedana

Medications suitable for the disease for which Udwarthana is being done are recommended. These medications should be used during treatment and as a part of follow up.

Mode of action

Probable mode of action of Udwarthanam:

  • Action of drugs used in Udwarthanam powder or paste – Usually in udwarthana drugs having properties to alleviate Kapha, Vayu, Ama and Meda (fat) are selected. The drugs will have hot potency, unctuous nature (when used in snigdha udwarthana to alleviate Vayu) and dry nature (when used in ruksha udwarthana to alleviate kapha, meda and ama). These drugs break the composition of stagnant and morbid ama, kapha and meda, liquefy, mobilize and throw them out of the body. This removes the blocks in all the cells, enables free transportation of nutrition, oxygen and essentials to all tissues, thus recharging and rejuvenating them.
  • Due to the action of deep pressure
  • Due to the action of heat induced due to rubbing and scrubbing
  • By enhancing blood supply to the tissues
  • By soothing the nerves
  • By strengthening the muscles
  • By removing the cellulite, dirt, toxins and dead tissues

To sum up,
To gain something we need to lose something. Now days we are all becoming victims of metabolic and lifestyle disorders like obesity in which the body stores a lot of wastes and toxins which are harmful for the system in a long run. The mechanism of natural expulsion of toxins and metabolites by the cells is lost due to masked intelligence of the cells. To safeguard our physical and mental health we need to lose these unwanted things from our system. To gain something we need to lose something. Udwarthana comes to our rescue in such conditions.

Udwarthana is a multi-dimensional treatment. It removes blocks, rectifies metabolism, soothes nerves, de-stresses our body and mind, enhances blood circulation, enriches the cells with proper nutrients and essentials, detoxifies the system, provides energy, revitalizes and rejuvenates us and enhances the lifespan of cells. It makes our body toned and trimmed up and alleviates many diseases. It is also helpful in making us look smart and beautiful. If a single treatment can provide so many benefits why can’t we just close our eyes and put our money on it?

Do you mind if you lose many things in your body and still get good health in return?

Try Udwarthana and rejuvenate yourself, feel refreshed and rebooted with high energy levels. I bet you will feel younger. But don’t fail to talk to your Ayurvedic doctor before trying it.
Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu)

9 comments on “Udvartana – Ubtan: Benefits, Types, How To Do

  • Harshit

    09/12/2015 - 12:20 pm

    Please write article on fibromyalgia

    Reply to comment
  • pranam

    10/12/2015 - 11:51 pm

    If fasting increases pitta, what does it do to the rakta dhatu?

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      29/03/2016 - 9:06 pm

      It may cause bleeding disorders such as nasal bleeding, heavy periods, skin disorders such as herpes, etc.

      Reply to comment
      • Megha

        27/05/2017 - 11:13 pm

        Ya i got herpes on my hip coz f dis … How to get rid

        Reply to comment
        • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

          28/05/2017 - 10:19 am

          Please consult an Ayurveda doctor directly.

          Reply to comment
  • shashi

    16/08/2017 - 6:27 pm

    where do we get genuine udhvaratna powder

    Reply to comment
  • Dhara

    20/03/2021 - 6:42 pm

    Please write a article on Unmardana chikitsa

    Reply to comment

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